Letters from Hannah to DiMaggio among items seized

Letters from Hannah Anderson were found in the suspect's home.

LOS ANGELES TIMESAugust 16, 2013 

Hannah Anderson arrives at the Boll Weevil restaurant in Lakeside, Calif., for an event to raise money for her family five days after her rescue from James DiMaggio in the Idaho wilderness.


SAN DIEGO - Authorities searching kidnap and murder suspect James DiMaggio's San Diego County property also collected duct tape, handcuff boxes, empty boxes of camping gear and ammunition, a Yosemite camping printout, incendiary devices, "arson wire," model rocket containers, cut electrical cords and two used condoms, the warrants said.

The search warrants did not detail what the letters - or another handwritten note - said.

Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, declined to comment on the content of Hannah's letters.

"As to the other items, I believe they rather stand on their own and clearly elevated the need to find her as soon as possible," she wrote in an email.

The documents released this week provided a glimpse into the nearly weeklong search for the 16-year-old Anderson and the slaying of her mother and brother, who were found dead Aug. 4 at DiMaggio's burning property.

Authorities allege DiMaggio - so close a friend to the Anderson family that the children called him "Uncle Jim" - "tortured and killed" Hannah's mother and brother before kidnapping the teen, eventually taking her to a remote stretch of Idaho backcountry.

At a news conference Monday, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore stressed that the girl played no part in the slayings and was "a victim in every sense of the word."

Hannah did not even learn the fate of her mother and brother until her rescue, authorities said.

The body of Hannah's mother, Christina Anderson, was found in a standalone garage, with blood near her head and a crowbar nearby, the search warrants said. Ethan's body was later found burned in the home.

The warrants also stated that the family's "medium brown dog" was found shot to death under a sleeping bag.

Investigators believe the fires were set separately, possibly with timing devices and accelerant, arson specialists said in seeking one of the documents.

The one fire could not have migrated to the other location, they said.

Other warrants showed an unknown person picked Hannah up from cheerleading practice the afternoon of Aug. 4.

Phone records showed that prior to her phone and DiMaggio's phones being shut off, the pair called each other about 13 times, but authorities did not specify over what time period those calls took place.

Computers, papers, photos and a journal were among the items seized from the Andersons' Lakeside apartment, additional documents showed.

Anderson says she plans to return to El Capitan High School in Lakeside, an east San Diego suburb of 54,000 people.

The incoming junior has a wide circle of friends, is on the school gymnastics team, and participates in an advanced dance class.

Her father, Brett Anderson, told at least two people that he plans to move his daughter to his Tennessee home.

He says he had been living separately from his wife because he took a job in that state.

The Associated Press contributed.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service